Impeachment trial to keep National Guard troops at Capitol

Source: Politico | January 24, 2021 | Andrew Desiderio, Lara Seligman and Natasha Bertrand

There are fears of mass demonstrations.

Former President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial poses a security concern that federal law enforcement officials told lawmakers last week requires as many as 5,000 National Guard troops to remain in Washington through mid-March, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The contingency force will help protect the Capitol from what was described as “impeachment security concerns,” including the possibility of mass demonstrations coinciding with the Senate’s trial, which is slated to begin the week of Feb. 8.

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Several National Guard units have seen their deployments extended involuntarily, though a majority of Guardsmen remaining in Washington will do so on a volunteer basis. Around 7,000 troops will continue to provide riot security through the beginning of February, with that number decreasing slightly to 5,000 by the time Trump’s impeachment trial begins.

“We are not going to allow any surprises again,” said one Guard member, referring to the widespread lack of preparedness for the insurrection on Jan. 6.

There is also some concern over potential unrest surrounding March 4, the date some QAnon conspiracy theorists believe Trump will be inaugurated for the second time.

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